In a country known as a leader in the race to integrate digital technology into banking, Poland’s first internet-based bank, mBank, is at the front of the pack. At the heart of its success is a determination to match innovative solutions with customers’ best interests, with a special focus on maximising mobile and online delivery. mBank is being rewarded with exceptional organic expansion, as customers flock to this trendsetting bank.
Digital currencies are proliferating around the globe, with even the bigtech players such as Facebook jumping in. What about central banks issuing their own central bank digital currencies? Many central banks are weighing the advantages and disadvantages of CBDCs so as to minimize disruption. More recently, six central banks announced that they will work jointly on this issue with support from the BIS, which shows the increasing focus on cross-border implications.
Interview with Ms. Jelena Galić, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board, AIK Banka
Serbia has endured mixed political and economic conditions but today is enjoying a period of economic growth. One of its top banks, AIK Banka, is well positioned to take advantage of this favourable climate, having determined to serve its clients in the most innovative ways possible while maintaining its long-standing reputation for stability and integrity. CEO Jelena Galić recently updated us on AIK Banka’s progress in fulfilling its client-satisfaction drive.
Interview with Mr. Bruno Colmant, Chief Executive Officer and Mr. François Wohrer, Group Head of Investment Banking, Degroof Petercam
For nearly 150 years, Belgium’s family-owned Degroof Petercam has held fast to its goal of actively taking care of its clients’ wealth and assets. For this progressive bank, “imagining tomorrow” is synonymous with creating an all-inclusive society in which everyone has a chance to thrive. In our interview, CEO Bruno Colmant and Group Head of Investment Banking François Wohrer describe how Degroof Petercam is transforming clients’ futures for the better.
The Philippines is one of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic newly industrialized countries, and its banking sector continues to evolve within it. Robinsons Bank is one Philippine bank that is not content to stand still but has initiated a strategy for growth that is guaranteed to propel it to new frontiers. As RBank’s Roadmap 2020 transitions into Roadmap 2024, one can expect more milestones to be achieved by this forward-looking, enterprising bank.
Small businesses are the heart and soul of commerce, despite the achievements of Big Tech giants. And any bank that wants to succeed will need to work successfully with them. Small businesses, arguably banking’s most regular customers, have a few challenges regarding their everyday dealings with their banks. What tools, such as automation, can banks employ to meet these important customers where they are at, making their experiences more satisfying?
Financial services, as we enter 2020, have never been more open to innovation, collaboration and transformation, as established banks are challenged to adapt, like it or not. Worldwide, and especially in countries in which access to financial services was previously limited or nonexistent, financial technology is offering a bold and exciting new world to those financial firms that will employ it. What are the probable trends in the coming months?
Occasionally, an anomaly becomes the new normal, and this seems to be true of negative interest rates in many regions of the world. Used as a tool of expansionary monetary policy in the aftermath of the global recession, negative rates may be wearing out their welcome, especially in some countries in Europe. But can they be scrapped entirely, or are they a natural part of the global economy’s cyclical trends?
Europe’s banks deserve a lot of credit for weathering less than ideal conditions, such as ultra-low interest rates and profitability in conjunction with high levels of fintech competition and toxic debt. But while conditions haven’t improved much lately on the interest-rate side, the bad-debt situation is considerably brighter. Astute regulators and governments deserve much of the credit, but so do the banks themselves for revamping their management of nonperforming loans.
On December 15, US bank Goldman Sachs announced what many believe to be the strongest restrictions on fossil-fuel activity by any major bank in the United States. Most notably, the bank has become the first big American lender to restrict financing on any part of the oil-and-gas sector, with a particular focus on protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.